The stunning admission comes after a day of fraught speculation triggered by a report in British tabloid The Sun Tuesday that claimed King Charles wanted to house Prince Andrew in the property, in a move apparently made in retaliation for Harry's tell-all memoir, Spare.
A Sussex spokesperson told the BBC: “We can confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage.”
The official comment came just hours after the reporter Omid Scobie, Harry and Meghan’s biographer, who is known to have excellent contacts within the Sussex organization and has at times acted as a quasi-spokesman for the couple, wrote in a Yahoo! article that the couple were “appalled” by the move to kick them out of the property.
“It all feels very final and like a cruel punishment,” a friend of the couple told Scobie. “It’s like [the family] want to cut them out of the picture for good.”
The source added: “This is not just some random rental they keep for convenience. Every drawer is full, every closet is packed… It’s a real family home.”
A source told Scobie that it was Charles who personally offered Frogmore to his brother, Andrew.
Scobie also seemed to lend credence to the suggestion that the property was being reclaimed by the Crown in response to Harry's book, saying, “The decision [was] made shortly after his revealing memoir, Spare, was released in January.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the story to The Daily Beast but sources had earlier said it was accurate, as the king is acutely concerned about appearances of extravagance while a cost-of-living crisis batters Britain.
A friend of the king’s told The Daily Beast: “Charles has made it quite clear he wants to reduce the size of the royal estate. It’s not a good look for a house to be sitting empty so it can accommodate Harry and Meghan once in a blue moon.”
Asked about rumors that Andrew would be eased out of the late queen mother’s former home, the palatial Royal Lodge, where he and Sarah Ferguson live in separate wings, the source said: “Andrew can’t continue living in a 30-room stately home at taxpayer’s expense. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the king is making changes.”
A separate palace source said of the eviction of Harry and Meghan from Frogmore Cottage, which despite its diminutive name is actually a five-bedroom farmhouse worth millions: “Any such discussions would be a private family matter.”
The Sun reports that Meghan and Harry are now shipping their last items of furniture to the U.S., where they settled in Montecito, California, after quitting the royal family in 2020.
The Sun’s source said: “This eviction surely spells the end of Harry and Meghan’s time in the U.K. Andrew is resisting the idea of moving into Frogmore Cottage after he was offered it last week. But it shows Harry and Meghan are powerless to stop the eviction.”
The couple’s controversial tenure of the idyllic property began when they were given use of the home by the queen as a wedding present in 2018. The premises underwent a $3 million renovation before they moved in—but six months later they fled the country in fear of their lives, as Harry has claimed.
Following intense public outrage, they eventually paid back the renovation costs and were given a lease on the property for “several years.”
They have sought to hang on to the property despite making only fleeting visits home.
Andrew, meanwhile, is under pressure to quit 30-room Royal Lodge.
But he may not be able to afford the upkeep if, as reported, Charles axes the annual stipend of at least $300,000 annually that he was given by his mother. He also recently shelled out an estimated $14 million to settle Virginia Giuffre’s sex abuse allegations.